Some of the Best German Movies Set in Berlin

By Marriette Rough, Segway guide & open air cinema aficionado.

Many famous films are either set in Berlin or have Berlin as the subject. Here we a have complied a selection of films for your viewing pleasure to serve as homework before or after you visit. All of these can be found with subtitles, if you didn’t pay attention in German class.

Movies Set in Berlin

1. Victoria

(Sebastian Schipper/2015)

Without a doubt the most raved about film to hit Berlin this year. Most of the open air cinemas in fact had to put on extra screenings. Victoria is a young Spanish woman who has recently moved to Berlin. Struggling with her new life in Berlin, she meets four guys getting kicked out of a club and we then follow her adventure. IN REAL TIME! The film is in fact a single continuous take. Making it both incredible and set to receive all the awards the universe has to offer.  This is one of the most original movies set in Berlin. 

Website: Victoria Berlinale Trailer

2. Berlin Calling

(Hannes Stöhr/2008)

A tragicomedy set in Berlin, in which a young techno DJ ‘Ickarus’ (played by real life DJ Paul Kalkbrenner) is institutionalised for his drug addiction. About as Berlin as it gets; sex, drugs and techno.

Website: Berlin Calling Official Trailer

3. Downfall

(Oliver Hirschbiegel/2004)

This is a must see for anyone interested in Second World War history. The film, relatively accurately, depicts the final 10 days of Hitler’s reign over Nazi Germany in 1945. Set predominately in his bunker in the centre of Berlin, which is in fact one of our stops in both our Berlin City Bike Tour and our Third Reich & Nazi Berlin Bike Tour.

Website: Downfall Trailer

4. The Lives of Others

(Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck/2006)

This film actually won the 2006 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, so definitely worth a watch. We follow an East German playwright as, unbeknownst to him, he becomes the focus of the East German secret police (Stasi). Many former East Germans were stunned by the factual accuracy of the films set and atmosphere.

Website: The Lives of Others Trailer

5. Goodbye, Lenin!

(Wolfgang Becker/2003)

Here we have the story of a son who keeps the reunification of Germany a secret from his fiercely communist mother. Right at the fall of the wall Alex’s mother suffers from a heart attack falls into a coma. Luckily she pulls through, however Alex (Daniel Brühl) is warned by a doctor that should she have any sudden shock, she may easily die, so he scrambles to hide it from her.  It’s a beautiful and tragic movie set in Berlin worth a watch.

Website: Goodbye Lenin Trailer #1

6. Cabaret

(Bob Frosse/1972)

Based on the book by Christopher Isherwood. The film is set in Berlin during the Weimar Republic in 1931, under the presence of the growing Nazi Party. We follow a wild American dancer (Liza Minnelli) in her bohemian Berlin life. Back in the good old days.

Website: Cabaret Trailer


Visiting Berlin and want to see the best the city has to offer?  Join us on a guided bike or Segway tour and learn about the history and see the backdrops for these films and many more. 

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A family by the eiffel tower.